"It Ain't Hard to Tell" is the second single and last track from the debut album Illmatic by the rapper Nas. Although the track was technically the second single on the album, it was the first single to be released after the album was pressed in 1994. The first single, "Halftime," was released two years prior to Illmatic's debut.
In 1991, Nas recorded a demo tape for Columbia Records, featuring the original version of "It Ain't Hard to Tell" named "Nas Will Prevail". This version is roughly 90 seconds longer, includes longer different verses, and has a more subdued, jazzier beat close to the album version. Pitchfork Media's included the song at number 28 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.
Nas created a homage to Wild Style (1982), the first hip hop motion picture, while shooting "It Ain't Hard to Tell's" music video, as he shot portions of the clip on the same stage used for the final scene of Wild Style.